Earlier this year, South Carolina’s Republican-led Legislature approved putting a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that if passed will provide for the State Superintendent of Education to be appointed by the governor – rather than elected by state voters.
The question on your November 6th ballot will be YES or NO to the following statement: “… the superintendent of education must be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate; to provide that the appointed superintendent of education shall serve at the pleasure of the governor; and to require the General Assembly to provide by law for the duties, compensation, and qualifications for the office.”
For many reasons, I will vote NO to this constitutional amendment! The two primary reasons I will vote NO on the amendment are: 1) it is a move toward centralized government and away from accountability to voters, and 2) it will give authority to the Legislature to dictate qualifications for this office.
Move toward centralized government and away from voter accountability
The office of Superintendent of Education is afforded by the South Carolina Constitution and changes to the state constitution require a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly to adopt a ballot amendment, and then a majority of voters in a General Election – this is difficult, and for good reason! Constitutional amendments alter the direction of the constituted body, and thereby should not be easy to achieve. Moving the state’s leading education position under the governor removes direct accountability away from those who fund government schools.
Elected officials abdicated their responsibility for deciding education policy by “letting voters decide” how we elect our state education policy leader and putting the centralized-government decision on the ballot for a largely uninformed populace. This is and was a Republican-led initiative. Shame on them!
Legislature to dictate qualifications for Superintendent
Constitutional offices have never required government-sanctioned educational attainment. In fact, the office of president of the United States does not require a college degree. Early drafts of the amendment language required State Superintendent appointees be a college graduate with at least a Master’s degree.
I am not a college graduate and I sometimes thank God that I escaped the liberal indoctrination of post-secondary education, which has been a breeding ground for socialists and communists for many decades. When I ran for State Superintendent of Education in 2014, and narrowly missed the runoff, 55,000 South Carolinians voted for me because they wanted a common sense leader that saw through the schemes of the left to run the State Department of Education. Requiring a college degree for Superintendent of Schools will only provide someone who is entrenched in College of Education philosophies, which is typically the most liberal of all colleges and schools that make up post-secondary education with very few exceptions.
Republicans and Democrats alike are ignorant to the problems and solutions desperately needed in government schools. The fight against the Common Core Standards, which resulted in a simple rebranding of the standards (Common Core is alive and well in SC schools) is a perfect example. Most recently, the SC House of Representatives with a sound Republican majority passed a bill to encourage more schools to adopt Competency-based education, which is a computer-based learning model that relegates teachers to facilitators and flies in the face of medical professionals’ warnings against too much screen time for children.
It may not be a popular position, but the truth is government schools have evolved into the intentional dumbing down, and liberal indoctrination of America’s children. Although all my children attended government schools, I never recommend a parent send their child to government schools today.
If freedom-loving Americans don’t wake up to the government school crisis, they will continue to lose freedoms they once enjoyed. Socialists and communists have hijacked America’s government-run schools and are forcing their agenda with our tax dollars to change America’s form of government and they are making great headway.
Voters must keep the Superintendent of Education position as a constitutional office without educational requirements like every other elected position in the country! Then voters must elect a person who understands the problems in government schools and has the will to take on the establishment to return to local control and a classical, liberal arts education for South Carolina students.
Sheri Few is the President of US Parents Involved in Education whose mission is to end federal intrusion in education and return local control to communities and parents.
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